Owners: Brother & Sister - Ralph J. Hampton & Annette Hampton
We are proud 4th generation farmers living and working just outside the tiny town of Kerrick, Texas. Located in the far northwestern Texas panhandle it's a place where the people are strong, the work is hard, and good food is the center of fellowship and family. True to Texas tradition "good food" is centered around good meat, and that is what we strive to provide our customers!
Sandy Trail Farm was born out of our family’s dream to produce from start to finish the best quality meat available. The dream itself took over nine years to comeplete, but the lessons and work ethic that went into it started long before that.
Our great grandparents settled on land about a mile from where Sandy Trail Farm is currently located. Our grandfather grew up on this land, learning how to produce crops from it, and how to best manage it for feeding livestock. He was the kind of man who took pride in his ability and willingness to learn new things and in being able to pass on his knowledge to his family. “Grandpa Newt” is the one who gave us our first introduction into how to feed and process our own meat!
As siblings, being in business together came somewhat naturally, and we entered the pig business together in the late 1970’s. We expanded our operation in 1988 to include a farrowing house that had previously been in use in Kansas and came to us as a pile of tin, lumber, doors, and fans. Sorting through the pieces and assembling them proved to be great training for building the plant at Sandy Trail Farm although we didn’t know it at the time.
The farrowing house proved a great facility for expanding our pig business, and we began to persue efforts in producing breeding stock in the late 1990’s. With great success, one of our gilts was awarded first place at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. We also had the great experience of exporting breeding stock to Mexico. Unfortunately, with the crash of the hog market in late 1998, most small pork producers sold out and the breeding stock business began to dry up.
With the pork business dwindling, we decided it was time to persue another dream. Through out the years we had also maintained a sucessful cow/calf operation, and in 1987 we had organized Hampton Cattle Company with our parents Ralph L. and Minnie Hampton to manage this side of the business. Seizing on the fact that we knew how to produce quality beef and pork, we began researching USDA processing plants. We visited several plants and studied the USDA regulations relentlessly. We had always processed our own meat, and now we began experimenting with recipes for our gourmet burgers & breaded products.
Construction began on Sandy Trail Farm in the spring of 2000. The plant was built entirely with our own hands, and the help of some special family and friends who willingly chipped in from time to time. Our cousin, Denton Crabtree worked especially hard with Annette to complete the wiring of the building.
More than anyone else, however, the person who sacrificed and worked the hardest to realize our dream was our mother, Minnie. Minnie worked tirelessly to do any and every sort of job that needed to be done during this process. Whether it was tending the animals or the fields so that we could work on the plant, or working alongside us, she has done it all and is an essential piece to the puzzle that became what you see here today. Still working alongside us, you will be blessed to meet her working in the plant or around the farm if you are able to visit our site.
The last, essential person whose contribution has not yet been mentioned here is our dad, Ralph L. Hampton. Dad passed away on September 22, 2006, but not before teaching us many lessons about how to build and repair things. His knowledge of mechanics is a skill that was passed to Ralph James and proved essential in completing this project. He is missed, but we know he is proud of what we have accomplished.
The term “family business” is very true in this case, and we are proud to say that we have accomplished our family’s dream. While we could never mention everyone who has had a part in making it happen, we want you all to know that we are grateful to each and every one of you who taught, helped, and encouraged us along the way.
Welcome to Sandy Trail Farm!